Friday, July 2, 2010

Logomania: Where Common Phrases Come From And How To Use Them by Ellen Whyte

Title/Author: Logomania: Where Common Phrases Come From And How To Use Them/Ellen Whyte
Publisher: MPH Publishing
No. of pages: 314
ISBN 13: 978-967-5222-47-4
Price: RM32.90

In a nutshell
Like its title, in Logomania, you'll find out 'where common (and uncommon ones too, I find) phrases come from and how to use them'. The book is divided into chapters linked by common imagery. For example, in , 'Happy New Year', you'd find expressions celebrating things new, and in 'Bear hugs and bear markets', you'd find expressions related to the bear. (By the way, did you know 'the bear' is a nickname for Russia? *wink*)

What I liked
It's very reader-friendly. Not only it's divided into interesting chapters, you can easily find the words and expressions in the 'Index'! :) For each expression, is an example of how you can use them.

This is one of my favourites: bee in my bonnet, which I'd use it this way:
"I have a bee in my bonnet about reading so I have books so new they're still in the shopping bags!"

Definition in Logomania:
"To have a bee in one's bonnet is to be preoccupied or obsessed with something. Also, to be a little bit scary."

Where is it derived from?
"Bonnet was synonym for hat from the 14th century, and in 1513, Elizabethans were using the phrase having their head full of bees. By 1845, the current phrase was coined, possibly because the alliteration is so appealing."


There are many others, and some cool ones such as 'Adam and Eve', 'Brahmsed' and 'Dog' (which means telephone, feet, or a very bad racing horse. Yep! :D)

Imagine a conversation going something like this:
A: Would you Adam and Eve it? It's only 4pm and he's brahmsed!
B: Yeah! Look at him! **Sigh** He must have put his bet on a dog and lost everything in his wallet!

(Can you figure out what 'Adam and Eve' and 'brahmsed' mean? ;))

Logomania is great for...
people who love the English language and who are crazy about words (by the way, 'Logomania' means being crazy about words). It can also be a great ice breaker topic (just pick a few examples from the book) with people who are interested in the language as much as you! For example, I like this one: 'Did you know that the term 'chop chop' (hurry up) originated from a Chinese word?'

Book bite: Ellen Whyte is also the author of 'Katz Tales'.

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